Day 51 A good riding day

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July 18th 2015
Published: July 19th 2015
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Day 51 A good riding day

Distance driven today: 261 miles / 420 km

Cumulative distance driven: 9,038 miles / 14,545 km (7,000 miles to go)

Today’s trip: Medellin to Cali, Colombia

After a rather long riding day yesterday, we slept in this morning and took it relatively easy in the morning. We left Medellin around 10am and started riding towards Cali. The first riding leg of the morning consisted of more switchbacks and hairpin turns, however unlike yesterday, there were very few trucks and buses on road and traffic flowed relatively smoothly. Could it be because it was Saturday, or did we just get lucky? Relieved by the fact that traffic wasn’t crawling, we made good progress and descended from Medellin in just a few hours and arrived at the regional city of Pereira. After lunch at a local roadside restaurant, Zoe and I were happy to discover that the road from Pereira to Cali consisted of a dual carriageway. Yes, that was a really big deal for us!

After having driven 850 km / 520 miles during the past couple of days on single lane roads, with limited/no ability to overtake trucks and buses, driving suddenly on dual carriage way roads felt like a well-deserved luxury. On top of that, the road between Pereira and Cali runs along the Cauca Valley, meaning that it was flat. Our moment of total exhilaration got disturbed by a pesky dark grey cloud that was constantly in front of us on the horizon, threatening to unleash its rain on us. Lucky for us, the cloud constantly kept moving away from us, in our riding direction. Thus we avoided being drenched and having to ride in rain. If you combine the flat road, the dual carriageway, avoiding the rain, and the fact that we have now covered 2/3 of Colombia, you can easily understand why Zoe’s and my spirits were high today, and why we feel we had a really good riding day.

PS As a reflection of the above, I guess that it is funny how little is required to make us feel good nowadays. Our world view is pretty bounded by such things as the level of bureaucracy when crossing borders, the grade and surface quality of the road, the ability to overtake trucks and buses, and whether we risk overheating the engine!

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